Cecilia Figueroa-Figueroa, an activist and volunteer for immigrants, is now facing deportation herself.
Cecilia Figueroa-Figueroa spent about six years volunteering to help those new to the United States with education and legal matters. But all of the Utah woman’s knowledge couldn’t prevent immigration enforcement officials from coming after her.
Figueroa-Figueroa has been a longtime community activist, volunteering her time for those six years through a local nonprofit where she would organize educational campaigns for immigrants, assist in the nonprofit’s pro-bono legal clinic and coordinate volunteer activities for the various campaigns the nonprofit would produce, her attorney, Aaron Tarin, said.
Figueroa-Figueroa, 55, is currently “at large” for failure to self-deport to her home country, Mexico, as she said she would as part of a recent agreement she made with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for two 2008 border arrests for illegally entering the country, according to Alethea Smock, an ICE public affairs officer. Now she might be forced to return to her hometown of Guerrero, a place the State Department has designated as a “do not travel” area because of crime. There were 977 murder victims there within the first five months of this year, according to data collected by the National Public Security System in Mexico.
About 100 to 150 members of the Latino community and clergy gathered in support, holding a rally Friday in front of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Utah, according to the Rev. Monica Dobbins, who attended the gathering.
All that training, time and education Figueroa-Figueroa had still wasn’t enough for her to understand how convoluted her own case was.
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